Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014, 12:08 GMT

Chronology for Greeks in Albania

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Greeks in Albania, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f3862c.html [accessed 18 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
Apr 1984 A Greek pressure group, the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of the Greek Minority in Northern Epirus, claimed that over 25,000 ethnic Greeks were being imprisoned in Albania. The group also put the size of the Greek minority in Albania at over 400,000.
Dec 3 - 6, 1985 Mr. Karolos Papoulias, the Greek Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with his Albanian counterparts to discuss the betterment of relations between the two countries. The discussions were the first of their kind since 1940, as the PanHellenic Socialist Party (Pasok) of Andreas Papandreou apparently had taken a conciliatory tone regarding Albania. Mr. Papoulias, after his visit to Albania, and after meeting with representatives of the ethnic Greek community, put the number of ethnic Greeks at 200,000. He also believed that the Greek language had been properly cultivated in Albania, and that the denial of their right to practice the Greek Orthodox faith was a right denied to all Albanians, since Albania was officially atheist. He equated interference in this realm with interference in Albanian "internal affairs" (Keesing's April 1985, 33558).
1986 As economic and political cooperation between Albania and Greece continued to increase, the Pasok government announced its intentions to end Greece's technical state of war with Albania on August 23rd. The state of war existed ever since 1940, when Italian forces commenced the invasion of Greece from southern Albania. After World War II, relations were not normalized due to Greece's territorial claims to southern Albania. The decision was heavily attacked by New Democracy (ND) leader Constantine Mitsotakis. He claimed that ethnic Greeks in Albania lived under intolerable "inhumane" conditions, and that the end to the state of war was "inadmissible at the present time from the national point of view...and...failed to safeguard the basic human rights of the Greeks of Northern Epirus".(Keesing's March 1986 34249).
1987 On the 28th of September, the Greek government of Pasok leader Andreas Papandreou formally declared an end to the technical state of war that existed between Albania and Greece. The move followed continued improvements in bilateral relations between the governments of the two countries.
1989 Tanjung, the official Yugoslav news agency, reported in December that four brothers belonging to Albania's ethnic Greek minority had been tortured and killed in October for attempts of flight from Albania. The report created some tension between the Greek and Albanian governments, as the Greek Foreign Ministry challenged Albanian authorities to prove that the individuals in question were still alive.
1990 In response to the growing unrest in Albania, and the erosion of the centralized political and economic structure, many Albanians began to steadily emigrate from their country. Throughout 1990, large groups of Albanians attempted to enter Yugoslavia and Greece. Albanian border guards were reported to have opened fire on some of the refugees, a number of which belonged to the ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania.
Jan 11 - 26, 1990 "several thousand" Greeks demonstrated in Athens to protest the Albanian treatment of ethnic Greek minority. The demonstrations were preceded by reports of border killings of ethnic Greek refugees by Albanian frontier guards.
1991 The flow of Albanian escapees across the southern border with Greece increased in January. The emigrants were largely ethnic Greeks and unskilled laborers. As Albanian border guards discontinued harassment, the numbers exiting Albania reached 600 per day, and escalated to 3,500 per day amid rumors that borders would be closed. In the first and second multiparty elections held on March 31 and April 7, Omonia, an organization representing the Greek minority in Albania, captured five seats in the 250 member People's Assembly. The Albanian Party of Labor, under Ramiz Alia, clung on to win the elections as its traditional rural constituency outweighed the urban support for the Democratic Party. In December, the Greek government implemented "Operation Scoopa" in which thousands of the reported 100,000-odd Albanian illegal immigrants were forcibly repatriated. The deportations created tension between Albanians and Greeks as filled to capacity vans dropped off "disheveled" Albanian migrants on the border crossing at Kakavia. Tensions further escalated when maps illustrating the northern Greek province of Epirus extending well into southern Albania were circulated in southern Albania. The Greek government and Omonia both denied any responsibility for the circulation of the maps.
1992 In the face of continued protests and the inability of the Albanian Party of Labor (PLA) to govern, President Ramiz Alia dissolved the Parliament on February 11 and called for elections to be rescheduled to late March. New electoral laws, passed on the fourth of February, reduced the size of the People's Assembly to 140, and set new definitions for organizations qualifying to participate in the elections. In an attempt to cash in on growing Albanian resentment toward the ethnic Greeks, Parliament voted for Article 13 in the new electoral law, which effectively prohibited Omonia from participation. But in a response back to critics of the law, Ramiz Alia stated that ethnic Greeks could run for office as independents or as deputies for other political parties. The move was criticized heavily by the European Community as a possible violation of human rights.
Feb 17, 1992 The EC expressed concern over reported Albanian attacks on several ethnic Greeks shops and Omonia offices in the city of Sarande. The attacks appeared primarily to be in retaliation for the alleged harassment, mistreatment, and deportation of Albanian refugees from Greece.
Mar 10, 1992 The Greek Ambassador to Albania was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to receive a formal complaint concerning pamphlets circulating in southern Albania encouraging ethnic Greek nationalist sentiments. Albanian complaints included the accusation of Greek attempts to explicitly influence the ethnic Greek vote. The Greek government denied any interference in Albanian internal affairs.
Mar 22, 1992 Elections resulted in victory for the Democratic Party headed by Sali Berisha. The DP collected 92 of the 140 seats, with the Socialist Party of Albania (formerly PLA) receiving a total of 38 seats. The Omonia organization was unable to participate, but the Human Rights Union effectively represented the Greek minority, and was able to collect two seats in the new People's Assembly.
Sep 10, 1992 Deputies for the Democratic, Social Democratic, and Socialist parties in Albania's Parliament expressed formal criticism at the appointment of Exarch Januallatos as Patriarch of the Albanian Autocephalic Orthodox Church. The Deputies also called for his departure form Albania.
Jun 25, 1993 Greek cleric Archimandrite Chrystostomos Maidhonis was deported by Albanian authorities for distributing pro-Hellenic literature claiming southern Albania to rightfully belong to Greece. Prime Minister Mitsotakis retaliated to the deportation of the Greek cleric by implementing "Operation Broom Sweep", with the objective of deporting as many of the 200,000 odd illegal Albanian immigrants from Greece as possible. Greek authorities arrested and transported 12,600 illegal Albanians to the Albanian border between the 28th and 29th of June.
Jun 30, 1993 an estimated 300 ethnic Greeks clashed with Albanian police near the southern city of Gjirokaster to protest the deportation of Archimandrite Chrystostomos. The protesters involved in the clash, consisted of ethnic Greeks from the village of Dervican, who were on their way to participate in demonstrations held by members of the Greek Orthodox Church in Gjirokaster. No serious injuries were reported, and the Albanian government denied the existence of the incident.
Feb 20, 1994 Metropolitan Archbishop Serapheim, the spiritual leader to the Orthodox Christians of Greece, ended his sermon with an appeal to his congregation to unite Northern Epirus (southern Albania) with Greece. The ceremony included church members dressed in traditional Epirotic costumes to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the "lost liberation" of Northern Epirus.
Apr 10, 1994 Gunmen shouting separatist slogans attack an Albanian border unit near the Greek border. A new group calling itself the Northern Epirus Liberation Front (MAVI) claims responsibility for the attack. MAVI condemns Greece for "criminal indifference" to the fate of the ethnic Greeks in Albania. MAVI was originally a rightist guerilla group founded in 1943 to fight against Italian fascists who occupied Albania at the time and also fought against left-wing Greek forces before disbanding in 1945. The attack results in an extended diplomatic row between Greece and Albania which includes reciprocal expulsions of diplomats.
Apr 20, 1994 Greece accuses Albania of "unprecedented and continuous" persecution of its ethnic Greek minority. This occurs after reports that 15 members of the ethnic Greek political and cultural association Omonia have been arrested over the past 2 days.
Apr 24, 1994 Albania announces that it has detained 11 ethnic Greeks for possessing illegal weapons and "anti-constitutional" separatist material.
Apr 29 - May 1, 1994 Albanian authorities prevent Greek Orthodox worshipers from holding an Easter procession on Friday (April 29). However festivities go as planned for the rest of the weekend.
May 20, 1994 Albanian authorities charge 6 ethnic Greeks who are all leaders of Omonia with espionage, fomenting separatism and possessing weapons without a license. 2 ethnic Greek members of Parliament denounce the arrests as "a flagrant violation of human rights."
May 26, 1994 Greece accuses Albania of making new arrests among its ethnic Greek community in order to scare the Greeks into fleeing Albania. Albania denies that the arrests ever took place. Other sources say that ethnic Greeks had been brought in for questioning but not arrested.
May 30, 1994 Omonia leader Sotir Qiriazati says that tensions between Greece and Albania have made life difficult for Albania's ethnic Greeks. Qiriazati says that he was among more than 50 ethnic Greeks called in for questioning by Albanian police about the activities of Omonia.
Jul 1, 1994 Greece announces plans to create a special force to its northern border with Albania to stop thousands of illegal immigrants from entering the country. Note: The issue of Albanian immigrants into Greece is a major cause of tension between Albania and Greece throughout the period covered by this update. This tension often negatively affects the situation of ethnic Greeks in Albania. These tensions will not be further noted here unless otherwise noteworthy.
Aug 11, 1994 The Initiative Committee for Northern Epirus, a coalition of more than 30 ethnic Greek political, cultural, and workers' associations, accuses Albania of torturing 5 ethnic Greeks accused of treason and spying to make them confess to crimes that they did not commit. These charges are later corroborated by all 5 defendants during their trial.
Aug 15, 1994 Greece protests after 22 Greek journalists and lawyers are attacked and arrested by Albanian police while observing the trial of the 5 Omonia members accused of treason. The police also break up a demonstration outside the courthouse by 100 ethnic Greeks demanding religious and ethnic freedom. Prosecutors drop the treason charges, which carry a death penalty, saying that they are based on the old Stalinist penal code. The other charges of espionage and illegal possession of weapons remain in place.
Aug 15 - Sep 20, 1994 Greece expels about 70,000 Albanians.
Aug 17, 1994 Greece accuses Albania of arresting 7 ethnic Greeks.
Aug 21, 1994 A renegade pilot steels a Greek crop-duster and flies over southern Albania dropping separatist leaflets.
Sep 6, 1994 Greece accuses Albania of harassing reporters and international observers at the trial of the 5 Omonia leaders accused of espionage. Reporters and observers have been arrested and barred from the site of trial since it began.
Sep 7, 1994 The 5 Omonia members accused of espionage are found guilty and sentenced to 6 to 8 years in jail. The verdict sparks international protests. Greece recalls its ambassador and partially seals its border with Albania over the verdict.
Sep 17, 1994 A 6th Omonia leader is sentenced to a year in jail on weapons violations.
Oct 6, 1994 An appeals court upholds the verdict of the 5 Omonia members convicted of espionage but reduces their sentences by 1 to 2 years for reasons of clemency.
Oct 21, 1994 The Albanian branch of Helsinki Watch (a human rights group) urges the retrial of the 5 Omonia members convicted of espionage saying Albanian authorities committed irregularities at the trial.
Nov 8, 1994 Albanian Greeks nearly unanimously reject a draft constitution for Albania in a referendum. They say the draft constitution fails to protect ethnic and religious rights.
Dec 24, 1994 Albanian President Sali Berlsh pardons one of the 5 Omonia members convicted of espionage and reduces the sentences of the other 4 by 1 to 2 years. This action is attributed to Greece removing its objections to Albania receiving European Union aid.
Feb 8, 1995 Albania's Supreme Court upholds the verdict of the 4 Omonia members convicted of espionage who remain in jail but hands down a suspended sentence. The 4 prisoners are freed.
Mar 20, 1995 Greece arrests 7 armed MAVI members who allegedly planned to engage in a cross-border raid into Albania. 4 of them are Albanian ethnic Greeks and the other 3 are Greek nationals. Their weapons are later identified as weapons stolen by MAVI in its raid into Albania last April in which 2 Albanian soldiers were killed.
Mar 21, 1995 Greece recalls a diplomat from Albania after finding in his possession pamphlets inciting separatism among Albania's ethnic Greek community.
Mar 25, 1995 Greece arrests 2 more suspected MAVI members.
Jul 13, 1995 Greek prosecutors charge a MAVI member with the April 1994 murder of 2 Albanian soldiers.
Sep 1, 1995 Talks between Greece and Albania hit a snag over the issue of the education of ethnic Greeks in Albania. Greece wants 3 independent schools set up in southern Albania.
Jan 10, 1996 Greek diplomatic circles show resentment with the pre-electoral ambitions of the Albanian Socialists to build on their success in minority inhabited areas. Athens believes that "only representatives elected by the minority themselves can protect the right of the minority." Meanwhile, the Socialists are exploiting rumors of a possible split between Omonia and Melo's party (The Union for Democratic Rights Party) to claim that the voting intentions of the minority incline towards the left. (BBC)
Mar 1996 Publications, media broadcasting, church services and education in mother tongue are the issues on which the US State Department draws a picture of the state of the cultural rights' protection of the ethnic Greeks in Albania for 1995. The State Department's report says, three newspapers come out in Greek language in southern Albania, while local radio broadcasts some Greek-language programs. Priests from Greece, says the report further, augment the indigenous clergy of the Albanian Orthodox church to serve Greek-speaking congregations. The basic concern for the ethnic Greek minority however, remains the education in Greek language. Mother-tongue education has been integrated in bilingual primary schools in areas where a significant percentage of the population belongs to a minority. The State Department report informs that, starting from 1995 Greek-language classes have also been made available in several high schools.(US Department of State)
May 27, 1996 Albania's ruling Democratic Party claims victory in the country's parliamentary elections without mentioning the boycott by most opposition parties. The opposition parties say, they would stick to their decision to withdraw from the elections, claiming rigging and violence against their supporters. The Human Rights Protection Party, representing the ethnic Greek minority in Albania too withdraws from the elections.(Deutsche Presse Agentur)
May 30, 1996 Albanian demonstrators protest for third day against the general elections in which president Sali Berisha's ruling Democratic Party has claimed overwhelming victory. The leading opposition Socialist Party and eight other smaller parties from both sides of the political spectrum denounce the vote as fraudulent and say, they would not participate in the second round of balloting on June 2. The Human Rights Party, which represents mainly the ethnic Greeks, reverses its stance and announces, it will participate in the second round of the elections. Party leader Vasil Melo says, the shift reflects the party's desire to play a moderate role in Albanian politics.(United Press International)
Aug 3, 1996 Thoma Mico, the number two in the Human Rights Union unleashes a storm of criticism against party chairman Vasil Melo, whose entry into parliament has led to the greatest ever crisis in the history of the Greek party in Albania.(BBC)
Aug 8, 1996 The Albanian government decides to start classes in their mother tongue for children of the Greek minority living in the towns of Gjirokaster, Sarande and Delvine.(BBC)
Oct 5, 1996 Omonia, the Greek minority organization, chooses a new leadership, discusses differences that have been latent in the organization since long, and decides on changes to the statute and the program. (BBC)
Oct 22, 1996 Albanians elect local government. (BBC)
Feb 1997 Referring to an AHC's assessment of the state of the cultural, social and human rights of the ethnic Greeks in Albania the US Department of State report for 1996 says, the Greek minority is "an integral part" of the Albanian Society and its rights have reached a new (positive) dimension. The State Department report also notes that the relations between Albania and Greece have improved considerably after the two countries signed in March a treaty of cooperation and friendship that led to an agreement on the issue of the Greek language education in Albania. (US Department of State)
Mar 4, 1997 The Albanian authorities enforce a state of emergency to quell civil unrest, as the country's embattled president, Mr Sali Berisha, has been elected unopposed by parliament for a second five-year term. (Financial Times)
Mar 5, 1997 The army reportedly controls the southern town of Gjirokaster and surrounding villages. There is no official confirmation for reports of a police attack in the southwestern city of Vlora, which has been in the hands of anti-government protesters. Yet, political crisis in the country threatens to erupt in civil war. Neighboring countries make preparations for increasing violence in the region. (Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Mar 10, 1997 Members of ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania push to ferries leaving the rebel-held port of Sarande for Corfu or arriving at the Kakavia frontier post, often without visas or passports. The flow of frightened women and children into Greece make many believe that any attempt by the Albanian army to recapture the southern border region from armed rebels would trigger a massive exodus of refugees into northern Greece. (Financial Times)
Mar 10, 1997 A political breakthrough comes after a weekend of anarchy, violence and tension in the south, where rebels have profited from a 48-hour truce to seize two more towns, including the key government bastion of Gjirokaster. (Agence France Presse)
Mar 13, 1997 The Greek government says, it will make representations to President Sali Berisha through diplomatic channels, asking for the release from prison of Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano. Government spokesman Dhimitrios Reppas says, "If the Greek government is asked to mediate between Sali Berisha and the insurgents, then our country will respond and accept such a request." (BBC)
Mar 14, 1997 Albania's anarchy engulfs the capital Tirana and the country falls into total isolation with its land borders, airport and ports all closed. Foreign embassies begin evacuating their nationals. President Berisha and the opposition admit that the country is beyond their control and make a united plea to the European Union for an intervention force. In the short term, the president's resignation seems the only measure that can achieve calm. (The Times)
Mar 14, 1997 President Berisha swears in the new government. (The Times)
Mar 14, 1997 Government spokesman of Greece, Dhimitrios Reppas says, the Greek government is in contact with all the sides in Albania and believes that the rebels have a say in political developments. The government spokesman describes as untrue claims that Athens supports Albanian President Sali Berisha. He also describes as unfounded reports in the Italian press that the Greek minority is behind the rebellion. Finally he describes as positive the news that the Human Rights Party Omonia, - the Democratic Union of the Greek Minority, - is represented in the new government with the Industry and Communications Ministry portfolio... (BBC)
Mar 22, 1997 Albania's rebels stop short of declaring an independent republic. Sources close to the rebels' leader, Agim Gozhita, say a meeting of southern leaders has reiterated the demand for President Berisha's resignation. They also say that the post of President should be replaced by a presidential council. The rebel council says it recognizes the government of Bashkim Fino, the Prime Minister, on the condition that he formally distances himself from the President. (The Times)
Mar 22, 1997 Zef Preci, of the Albanian Center for Economic Research says the danger of a Greek minority-inspired breakaway republic is very much alive.(The Times)
Apr 16, 1997 The first wave of a modest multinational force, to be made up of 6,000 soldiers from eight European countries, arrives in Albania. (International Herald Tribune)
Apr 18, 1997 Political parties agree to hold parliamentary elections on June 29. The agreement comes as a result of talks conducted by Franz Vranitzky of Austria, a special envoy of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who has announced the accord. The south remains under the control of rebels. An emergency all-party Government set up in March agreed that early elections were crucial to restoring order. But the rival parties have made almost no progress on drafting an election law. (The New York Times)
Apr 29, 1997 The European Commission approves a first package of humanitarian aid, worth ECU 2 million, for victims of the crisis in Albania. Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe approves the sending of a protection force to Albania by some of its 54 member countries, and the expedition is approved by the UN Security Council. (Euro-East)
Jun 5, 1997 The Albanian prime minister of the government of national reconciliation, Bashkim Fino, meets with a Greek delegation led by the Foreign Minister Theodhoros Pangalos. (BBC)
Jun 19, 1997 The UN Security Council adopts a resolution extending the mandate of a multinational force in Albania until mid-August. (Agence France Presse)
Jun 26, 1997 It is reported that two Greek minority leaders have been kidnapped. One of them is the father of the Albanian opposition candidate, Costandina Beziani, who has been required to withdraw her candidacy from the upcoming general elections "if she wanted to see her father again". Beziani's Greek minority party is known for its election links with the opposition Socialists. The second Greek minority leader is Bassilis Kremmydas. Both of them are members of Omonia, an organization which represents the Greek minority in Albania. (Agence France Presse)
Jun 28, 1997 A second politically motivated kidnapping is being reported. The victim, Vasilios Kremidhas, is the son-in-law of a former Omonia chairman. The kidnappers demand 40m drachmas for his release.(BBC)
Jun 29, 1997 General elections take place in Albania. (The Guardian)
Jul 1, 1997 Albanian president Sali Berisha concedes that his ruling Democratic party has lost in the first round of elections, which the international polling monitors has described as "adequate and acceptable". (Xinhua News Agency)
Jul 16, 1997 In response to an accusation of the Socialist Party chairman claiming, the President is keeping the Greeks in ghettos, the press office of President Sali Berisha says that the Albanians treat their Greek minority well and that this has been recognized internationally. (BBC)
Aug 7, 1997 The president of Albania, Prof Dr Rexhep Mejdani, meets the Greek delegation led by Foreign Minister Theodhoros Pangalos, which has arrived on a one-day-visit to Albania. The president highlights with pleasure the will of the Greek government and people to be close to Albania in these difficult days of its institutional and economic reconstruction.
Sep 8, 1997 Greek parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis discusses with his Albanian counterpart, Skender Gjinushi, ways of expanding cooperation between the two legislatures. They also talk about the reconstruction of Tirana's political system, the economic situation and the situation of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania.(Xinhua News Agency)
Oct 7, 1997 The Albanian authorities refuse to receive the envoys of Patriarch Bartolomeos, the three metropolitans of Greek nationality who were heading for the south Albanian cities of Korce, Gjirokaster and Berat. Government sources confirm that a Foreign Ministry official is expected to announce that the three metropolitans will remain "persona non grata" in Albania. Fears are rising in Albania that the Greeks are trying to realize their ethnic ambitions with the help of the church.(BBC)
Oct 14, 1997 The ethnic Greeks' Union for Human Rights Party asks a wider scope of action in the local government in the areas where its representatives have won the majority of votes. The chairman of the party asks for a wider representation in the southern areas, where the Greek minority is living. Melo also emphasizes that his party insists on the respect of the unanimously signed political platform for a political coalition with the other parties. (BBC)
Oct 17, 1997 Prime Minister Konstandinos Simitis of Greece visits Tirana to hold talks with Albanian political leadership. The Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano says, the aim of his country is to achieve return of those Albanian Greeks who abandoned their country and returned to their ancestral home. The Greek side is especially satisfied with this statement.(BBC)
Oct 18, 1997 In a talk with his Greek counterpart Kostas Simitis during his visit to Tirana, prime minister of Albania Fatos Nano stresses the readiness of his government to create for the ethnic Greeks in Albania "all the possibilities to be educated in their national language" and "move freely wherever it is good for them". (BBC)
Mar 10, 1998 President of Albania Rexhep Mejdani arrives at a three day official visit to Greece. After meeting with Apostolos Kaklamanis, the Greek parliament president, Mejdani says that legislatures between Albania and Greece should have more frequent talks in order to promote democratic institutions in a civil society. (Xinhua News Agency)
Apr 4, 1998 Azem Hajdari, an exponent of the Albanian opposition Democratic Party, raises in parliament his party's objection to the presence of Greek soldiers in Albania. Hajdari's call against a Greek presence in Albania is met with silence on the part of the government coalition parties. The Albanian constitution neither hinders nor allows the presence of the non-Albanian military forces in the Albanian territory. The arrival of the Greek soldiers one year ago was realized through an emergency formula, that would create the possibility to compensate for the lack of the state.(BBC)
May 12, 1998 The Western European Union (WEU) decides to assist Albania in protecting its borders in a bid to prevent an escalation in the Kosovo conflict. It is decided that the role of the WEU police mission in Albania would be extended. Some 100 advisers from the WEU would assist in training Albanian border policemen. (Deutsche Presse Agentur)
Sep 1, 1998 Relations between the Socialist government and the opposition get tense since the announcement of the arrest of six former Democratic Party leaders in connection with the Spring 1997 rebellion. (Agence France Presse)
Sep 15, 1998 Violence sparks in Albania with the announcement on the killing of the opposition party leader Azem Hajdari.(Xinhua News Agency)
Sep 15, 1998 The Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis says that the current crisis in neighboring Albania is an exceedingly unfortunate development for the entire region, and particularly for Greece. He says, Greece is doing its utmost to make sure that there are no adverse effects on the Greek minority in Albania or on the Greek people living near the Albanian border.(Xinhua News Agency)
Sep 19, 1998 Supporters of Albania's opposition Democratic party continue their rallies in Tirana while a European delegation is trying to negotiate a solution to the crisis with Albanian political leaders. The opposition supporters demand prime minister Fatos Nato resign. The delegation consists of Greek alternate minister of foreign affairs George Papandreou, the CE secretary general Daniel Tarchys, and the Polish foreign minister Borislav Geremek. The European delegation shows skepticism about the possibility to find a quick solution to the crisis because of Berisha's refusal to accept the options offered by the European delegation. The CE threatens to isolate the Democratic Party's leader Sali Berisha if he continues with his tactics of undermining government institutions.(Xinhua News Agency)
Sep 19, 1998 Greek alternate foreign minister George Papandreou discards claims by the opposition leader Sali Berisha charging Greece with involvement in Albanian politics.(BBC)
Sep 23, 1998 Berisha's Democratic Party issues a manifesto calling on the Albanian people to overthrow the government of Fatos Nato. Berisha and his party control the local councils in almost all Albanian cities and they can cause chaos throughout the country if they decide to continue their intransigent policy. (BBC)
Oct 1, 1998 Albanian prime minister-designate Pandeli Majko is trying to put a final touch to a new cabinet that is to pull the country from the brink of chaos. Majko was named premier after the surprise resignation of fellow Socialist Nano. Opposition Democratic Party leader Sali Berisha continues to claim, Majko is not the answer to Albania's problems and is instead demanding an interim government and new elections. Berisha calls for a further demonstrations to take place after about 3,000 people have held a peaceful protest in Tirana.(Agence France Presse)
Nov 12, 1998 Greece and Albania pledge to strengthen the already close cooperation between the two neighboring countries following the talks between their premiers in Athens. During the talks between the Greek prime minister Costas Simitis and his visiting Albanian counterpart Pandeli Majko, both sides discuss ways of improving political and business cooperation between the two countries. Other issues discussed are the situation of the ethnic Greeks in Albania, the situation of the ethnic Albanians in Greece, as well as the crisis in neighboring Kosovo.(Xinhua News Agency)
Nov 24, 1998 Albania makes a referendum for a new constitution. Greece welcomes the move, saying that Greece would continue to support Albania in its efforts for development and progress.(Xinhua Agency)

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